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Defending the Faith: Mary Whitmer, 12th witness to the Book of Mormon

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  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 18, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    Two things come to mind after reading this – if true it would follow that dictating the BoM would involve Joseph, in real time, deciphering the plates while the translation was being written down. Instead the BoM was apparently dictated while Joseph was peering into a hat looking at a seer stone.

    Second, at least one of the witnesses while testifying in court sometime later admitted that when he said they “saw” they plates, actually meant that it was a “spiritual experience” that involved them seeing the plates with their “spiritual eyes.”

    That this may all come down to faith is fine, but a story as fantastic as this should at least be consistent and not embellished to be something it was not.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 18, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Tyler D

    From 2 Corinthians 12: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    From this I take it that the difference between what we see in vision and what we see in person may not be so easily distinguished in some cases. I am also not sure the difference is relevant as to what the person then knows by their experience.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 18, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    When the first 11 witnesses are confirmed then I will believe there is a 12th. The 11 witnesses never signed their names to that pre-written document prepared by Oliver and Joseph. And it has been proven that Oliver is the one that signed all of the names of the witnesses. No witness has ever said they saw the plates directly. Why would viewing actual physical plates of gold require spiritual eyes to be used? It doesn't make sense. And when something doesn't make sense it usually isn't true.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 18, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Twin - Why in the world would anybody have to use their spiritual eyes to view physical, gold, metal plates? That makes little sense. Joseph had posession of them, so if Joseph could view them then he could have showed them to anybody else.

    Then you have the 11 witnesses... None of them actually said they saw the plates. The statement you see in the front of the book of mormon was a pre-written document by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery... it was also never signed by the witnesses.. It has been proven that Oliver is the one who signed all of their names. Please explain.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Also, Lucy Harris was a great witness. Marin's wife had a wonderful testimony to what was going on.

  • Texas Ken Killeen, TX
    July 18, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Interesting story. It seems a fundamental difference in Mary's witness, was it's purpose was purely for her own needed edification. The other eleven witnesses, though personally edified by their experiences, also had a mission to testify for the edification of others. They left formal written testimonies, signed by each of them, and still published in the front of the sacred volume of which they testified.
    Does this mean Mary is the only woman to actually see the plates? There were times Emma was close to the plates, but each time I think they were wrapped in something, obscuring the plates from view.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    RE: Twin Lights.. "and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

    Paul heard ‘Inexpressible’ things that remain unknown because, he was not permitted to tell.

    J. C. Whitmer,“I have heard my grandmother (Mary M. Whitmer) say on several occasions that she was shown the plates of the Book of Mormon by an holy angel, whom she always called Brother Nephi.” (John C. Whitmer, “The Eight Witnesses”, The Historical Record, Volume 7, October, 1888, p. 621)

    “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.” (The Times and Seasons Vol. III, pp. 749, 753)
    In modern printings of the History of the Church, this has been changed to read “Moroni”. It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith lived for two years after the name “Nephi” was printed in Times and Seasons and he never published a retraction.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 18, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Brahmabull,

    As far as I know, only Martin Harris used the term you cite.

    Joseph did show them to others (the Eight Witnesses).

    I am unfamiliar with the Oliver signing for all claim (all 11?) so I cannot comment.

    There are a lot of physical objects shown to folks in vision though I do not mean to say that this is what happened here.

    My point is simply that, If we were in the presence of an angel, it is uncertain whether we could later distinguish precisely what state we were in (and Paul indicated that he could not).

    Sharrona,

    He was busy.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 18, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “From 2 Corinthians 12…”

    Interesting account…

    Thoughts that come to mind are 1) these sorts of accounts are ubiquitous in the spiritual literature, especially Eastern; and 2) are they indications of objective reality?

    Susan Blackmore, perhaps the foremost psi researcher of our time, was inspired to become a scientist because of a powerful out-of-body (astral plane) experience she had. She was a full on believer that these and many other spiritual experiences were objectively real, but after decades of research she is now a skeptic (regarding their objectivity and in some cases that they even happen – e.g., telekinesis).

    Personally, I haven’t studied it enough to reached any 100% conclusions, but I am strongly inclined to believe these experiences are conditioned (why Christians see Christ and Hindus see Vishnu) and subjective, and do not point to objective reality.

    But (speaking from some personal experience) they are amazingly powerful and can certainly change lives, so by that yardstick more power to them!

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 18, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Brahmabull, the online article "Personal Writings of the Book of Mormon Witnesses" and the Maxwell Institute gives these "signature" details documented testimony of the witnesses:

    Richards emphasized that Oliver "penned, with his own hand and in my presence, the testimony and statement herewith." The statement is dated 13 January 1849, is addressed "To Elder Samuel W. Richards," and ends with Oliver's signature.

    The short 1881 statement was signed by David Whitmer and was dated, "Richmond, Mo., March 19, 1881."

    From Martin Harris, "dated "Smithfield, Utah, Nov. 23d, 1870," and is signed "Martin Harris." The entire text of the letter is included for insight into the man and his testimony: I received your favor. In reply I will say concerning the plates, I do say that the angel did show to me the plates containing the Book of Mormon.

    I don't know of which exact document you speak of that was not signed by the three witnesses, nor of any proof that it was not their personal signatures on that particular document. I can imagine many publication scenarios requiring replication of the original before copy machines. 1960 in the Army I retyped many documents for copy purposes. Before typewriters?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 18, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Twin

    But why would an angel have to show them some physical, metal plates? You state that it has happened in other instances, please clarify.

    Both Whitmer and Harris describe it as spiritual. If it wasn't by vision or by spirit for all of them why would that be?? He wouldn't show them physically to some, and spiritually to others. this is my point, it doesn't add up. Here is what whitmer said:

    When asked in 1880 for a description of the angel who showed him the plates, Whitmer replied that the angel "had no appearance or shape." Asked by the interviewer how he then could bear testimony that he had seen and heard an angel, Whitmer replied, "Have you never had impressions?" To which the interviewer responded, "Then you had impressions as the Quaker when the spirit moves, or as a good Methodist in giving a happy experience, a feeling?" "Just so," replied Whitmer. Whitmer interview John Murphy, June 1880

    Whitmer: ‘were shown to me by a supernatural power” (HC3:307)

    No witness account states that they saw them uncovered. The pre-written statement by Smith does, no other statement by any of the witnesses states that.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 18, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    Whittmer 1881: "The glorious messenger ... turned the leaves of the plates."

    David Whitmer's ... answer to critic John Murphy in 1881. Murphy, a local farmer who had been a Protestant missionary, visited David Whitmer in the summer of 1880, and the following January published a reconstructed conversation that claimed David had essentially agreed that his angelic vision was an inner feeling.

    Two months later, David published a denial that his experience was subjective, insisting that his printed testimony accurately reported the glorious messenger who turned the leaves of the plates. He added statements affirming his personal integrity from two dozen community leaders in Richmond, the county seat. He then asked newspapers to publish this information in Hamilton, where Murphy's appeal first appeared, and in Richmond, where David resided. The witness then "printed and distributed" the material as a leaflet, reprinting it six years later, in 1887, in his widely distributed An Address to All Believers in Christ.

    From Maxwell Institute article cited above.

    BrahmaBull, you shouldn't just throw out ideas that you picked up who knows where Please give us the authoritative source references.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 18, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    Brahmabull,

    Why an angel? Why does God ever send angels when men could deliver the exact same message? I suppose to reinforce the point.

    Visions and dreams in the scriptures include a variety of physical objects from lands and peoples to household objects to animals.

    You bring up one of Whitmer's (reported) statements. Others are much clearer. Yes, I understand there is variance but there are a lot of writers/reporters with different "perspectives" and motives.

    Were the plates shown to the Three Witnesses "by a supernatural power"? Obviously. It was an angel.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    July 19, 2013 4:44 a.m.

    Brahmabull

    If you yourself could see the plates today, would you believe? Would not doubt, just as you feel today, eventually creep in to rationalize away the truth over time of what was witnessed of spiritual things by physical senses?

    Faith does not come by signs, but signs follow those who first exercise faith. This is God's prescribed method of becoming "prepared" that He may reveal eternal truths, miracles, blessings, and knowledge. Many in the Bible fell away from belief after witnessing so great miracles.

    Either one is prepared to exercise faith in things not seen, that God may reveal them, or they remain in doubt and spiritual darkness until a day comes when they are sufficiently humble to receive them. Does not the Bible in all its wisdom testify of these truths?

    It has and ever shall be that those who are sign seekers requiring physical proof before they believe, will not know the works of God, nor receive greater witnesses of divine truths because they refuse to exercise faith first. If such were to receive signs without faith, God knows disbelief would return the moment the reality of their witness is challenged by worldly rationalizations and cares.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 19, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    RE: Tyler D, these experiences are conditioned (why Christians see Christ and Hindus see Vishnu) and subjective, and do not point to objective reality..

    Rudolf Otto's Concept of the "Numinous" the experience that, underlies all religion. He calls this experience "numinous," and says it has three components. These are often designated with a Latin phrase: mysterium tremendum et fascinans. As mysterium, the numinous is "wholly other"-- entirely different from anything we experience in ordinary life. It evokes a reaction of silence.
    But the numinous is also a mysterium tremendum. It provokes terror because it presents itself as overwhelming power. Finally, the numinous presents itself as fascinans, as merciful and gracious.

    RE: EternalPerspective. Johnathan Edwards(Great awakening) was a Christian preacher and is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals.

    Edward’s signs of Christian of regeneration(Born again/from above): 1. One’s esteem of Christ’s is elevated to an Orthodox Christology. 2. The awakening of the conscience of sin, or a conviction of Sin 3. A greater regard for the Bible, which establishes the more of the certainty of the Spirit of God.

  • Rollo Tomasi Rockingham, NC
    July 19, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Someone above already mentioned this, but I note how the author was careful NOT to give the name of the mysterious man/angel who showed the plates to Mary Whitmer. I suspect this is because Mary always maintained that this angel was named "Nephi," which doesn't fit into the current LDS narrative (i.e., that the angel was "Moroni").

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 19, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    TWIN

    So if I may clarify. Joseph Smith already had the plates in his posession, at his home. Instead of showing the plates to the witnesses the same way I would show something interesting to you, they went out in a field and prayed that they could see them? So the angel went and took the plates from Joseph's home and brought them out to the witnesses and showed them the plates and them returned them to Joseph's house? Is that what you are suggesting? Do you really consider that to be a likely scenario? It doesn't make sense. If Joseph had the plates, he would have showed them to the witnesses himself. That is my point.

    Yes, if the plates were real and we could see them it could validate the story Joseph gave. Just like when any other ancient text pops up around the world, it can be examined and translated. Last time I checked the dead sea scrolls and other texts of ancient times weren't taken up to heaven. They also don't have to be shown to anybody by vision. Now why is that?

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    July 19, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    @Brahma:
    Seeing the plates would only validate that Joseph had some plates, not the validity of their supposed history.

    If Moroni appeared on CNN right now with 'his people's history', his gospel would still violate the Biblical gospel message wirh it's salvation "after all that you have done". The factual evidence of angels, old men with knapsacks, and gold plates does nothing to supplant the efficacy of Paul's original gospel and eye witness testimony of Christ on the Damascus Road. It verifies his warning of Satan masquerading as "an angel of light."

    So men can keep their stories and theories and witness accounts. The Apostle who encountered the risen Christ warned:
    "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another (bonafide one); but there are some who want to trouble you and pervert the gospel of Christ.
    But even if we or an angel from heaven preach to you another gospel than the one we first preached to you, let him be accursed."

    That warning in Galations 1:6-10, given 30-60 years after Christ's death, still serves Christians today.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    July 19, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    So I just have to authenticate some plates, stones, or recordings of a civilization that believed something and suddenly that ancient people's religion is The Truth?

    Let me introduce you to the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Druids, the Moonwalkers, the Sun Cult, the Moonies...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 19, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    That the testimony of any witnesses at all along with their sworn and signed affidavits were offered in the first edition of the Book of Mormon points to Joseph Smith’s anticipation of the skepticism he was bracing for. Mark Twain, in his travel book Roughing It, offered his own characteristic good-natured ribbing when he wrote, “I could not feel more satisfied and at rest if the entire Whitmer family had testified."

    Joseph Smith unwittingly invited skepticism by adding the testimony of witnesses in that first edition. Subsequent history proved that to receptive readers and religious seekers, it made no difference at all. That is the story of true faith.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 19, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    I object to the Deseret News censoring of explanations of reasons for mental and physical apparitions being related to medical and/or physiological conditions. My post is relevant to the subject and supported by medical science and common sense. Please reconsider and post my comment. You don't have to agree, never the less it is a plausible explanation.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 19, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    Brahmabull,

    To your point, Joseph did show the plates to some of the witnesses but to the three this was a divine manifestation as well. Though not meant to back up Joseph, OnlytheCross correctly identifies the problem. “Seeing the plates would only validate that Joseph had some plates, not the validity of their supposed history.”

    If we are talking likely scenarios, then I think we can stop talking about religion in general. Religious histories are full of less than likely scenarios from 40 year trips in the desert and seas parting to God sending his Son to be the intercessor for disobedient mankind (and that is just the Judeo-Christian group).

    Yes, it would be great to have the plates. But how many minds do you think that would change? As you state, we have the Dead Sea Scrolls. How many therefore believe the Bible to be the word of God?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 19, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Some people are more prone to hallucinating strange things and it is often times a family trait, perhaps something inherited in the genes similar to some diseases

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 19, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    In antiquity, dreams were omens of portentous foreshadowing in the real world. We read of Joseph explaining Pharaoh’s troubling dreams, Daniel doing likewise with Nebuchadnezzar, and Paul confessing his own uncertainty as to what exactly he experienced, whether in or out of the body. How many Catholics down through the centuries have claimed to have seen apparitions of Mary?

    Joseph Smith’s claims were obviously not singular in nature in the big picture or human religious experience. They were, in fact, entirely characteristic. But his claims, which would have been popularly plausible in earlier ages, came in an time when science would seek rational explanations.

    I don’t object to psychological theories as long as we recognize their limitations. Psychology is a highly subjective field of study which makes its answers dubious as well.

  • SameJersey Kaysville, UT
    July 19, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    @OnlyTheCross

    Coming unto Christ represents a covenant, a two-way promise between God and man. Jesus Christ has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He suffered and bled and died for us. He redeems us from sin. He offers to change our nature, to make us into new creatures (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Mosiah 27:24—26). He rose from the dead and thereby opened the door for us to do the same at the appointed time. These things we could not do for ourselves; they are acts of mercy and grace.

    Latter-day Saints readily acknowledge that though our efforts to be righteous are necessary, they will never be sufficient to save us. Book of Mormon prophets thus explained that above and beyond all we can do, we are saved by the grace of Christ and that our most significant labor is to trust in and rely upon the merits and mercy and grace of the Holy Messiah (see 2 Nephi 10:24; 25:23; 2 Nephi 2:8; 31:19; Moroni 6:4).

    The point: the teachings are entirely congruent with those of the apostles, most notably Paul and James.

    Best.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 19, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    OnlytheCross posted:

    =But even if we or an angel from heaven preach to you another gospel than the
    =one we first preached to you, let him be accursed."
    =
    =That warning in Galations 1:6-10, given 30-60 years after Christ's death, still
    =serves Christians today.

    OnlytheCross, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe traditional Christianity teaches that there exists an evil being, supernaturally powerful but not more so than God, called Satan. Does the gospel that Paul is referring to include a way to determine whether that gospel was actually inspired by the good God that controls the universe, and wasn't rather inspired by the postulated evil supernaturally powerful being?

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 19, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Skeptic posted:

    =Some people are more prone to hallucinating strange things and it is often
    =times a family trait, perhaps something inherited in the genes similar to some
    =diseases

    I am willing to consider the possibility that God may choose as His spokesman to the world someone who God knows will hallucinate the message God wants that spokesman to take to the rest of humankind.

  • Just Truth Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 19, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    Simply put, God's ways are not your ways. The truth is in asking God and allowing Him to reveal it to you in His way, not yours. Those 12 witnesses to this day would testify that the Book of Mormon is true and of divine origin and that they know it of personal accord. They know for themselves because God made it known to them. Why should you or I expect anything less or more according to our rationalization. If you want to know, then sincerely read it, pray about it, and then try to deny these witnesses or worse the undeniable witness you will receive. But beware, what you know to be true becomes your obligation to follow and live accordingly.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 19, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @Kvnsmansn,
    I am intrigued by your broad mindedness. If you ever have the opportunity you may appreciate visiting Pershing Square in Los Angeles. There they have many preachers on their soap boxes sharing hallucinations, doomsday warnings, extreme politics and a big welcoming to join them and their cause or religion.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 19, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    This is what I know. God told me the Book of Mormon is scripture and that Joseph Smith did in fact see and speak with Him and His Son in a grove of trees (which I have visited).

    There is a lot of history of this country, of pioneers/settlers moving with manifest destiny in conquering/occupying/claiming the lands which now make up this country. Some of that history includes Mormon settlements, Mormon leaders and followers, others who settled/followed them as family members or friends, some who left the faith, some whom returned... stories told different lenses. Those were superstitious times recounted by people with bias, less literary skill and antiquated tools. These people, in and out of the LDS faith, were like us -- imperfect, perhaps scoundrels, subject to their own paradigm of values, opinions, perceptions... Even Joseph Smith.

    It matters not to me the loopholes, tricks, methods, means or even the complete nature of the individuals God chose for His work. This is His church; His gospel, as restored, works in my life as a living faith; His leaders inspire me with His words; His temples bring me close to Him.

  • Lbone Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    "If only I could see the gold plates, THEN I would believe." To people like BrahmaBull and others unbelievers and critics I would suggest that seeing is NOT believing. Today there are still some who believe the earth is flat or that planes did not crash into the twin towers,etc.

    Jesus Christ walked among men where He proclaimed to be the Son of God. People did not believe then and they crucified Him. The Father and the Son appeared to a boy in1820. Many don't believe that.

    A witness of spiritual things comes through spiritual means: sincere prayer, study, humility, fasting, repentance. It's a recipe. It works every time if you follow them. If you're vain or arrogant, the Spirit of God will not bear witness of divine truths.

    I recommend all naysayers and critics to follow the recipe. It has worked for me and millions of others. It will work for you if you'll but humble yourselves.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    July 20, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Brahmabull

    Either you or I don't know what you are talking about. Whether Oliver wrote and signed the names for the official statement by the 3 Witnesses and the 8 Witnesses (and I know of no source to substantiate this) is irrelevant, because based on subsequent interviews all 11 witnesses "owned" the statement and testified to the veracity of the statements.

    There are at least 10 documented interviews of the 8 witnesses that clearly state they materially saw and handled the plates that Joseph showed them, and described in great detail what they saw.

    The three Witnesses didn't handle the plates, but were shown the plates by an angel--a "supernatural" being. Martin Harris and David Whitmer were misquoted by detractors of the Church and they both refuted those misquotes. They all describe their experience as real and genuine in multiple interviews.

    The Maxwell institute has sources and can back up all these statements. Can you?

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    July 20, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Brent T. Aurora CO

    God told you that it is true huh?? Well he told me that it wasn't and to steer clear of it. So if we are getting 2 different answers, what does that mean?

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    July 20, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Lbone

    Please cite sources for people who still think the world is flat.

    You are correct though, praying has worked for millions and billions of people... of other religions as well. Catholics know they are right, so do mormons, muslims, jews, and the rest. They have all prayed about it and KNOW that their religion is correct. That is why it is such an unreliable method.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 20, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    Mary Musselman Whitmer should have been ordained a deaconess in The Church of Jesus Christ (June 1829) just as Phebe was an ordained deaconess (Greek word for "servant" in Romans 16:1-2) of the Cenchrea, Greece Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ (1st century A.D.). Also Mary Magdalene may very well have been the 1st ordained deaconess of The Church of Jesus Christ - Old Jerusalem Branch. We in The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, PA) have always had ordained deaconesses in our organization. Deaconesses (and deacons) are non-priesthood offices. Mary Musselman Whitmer, Mary Magdalene, and Phebe of Cenchrea were the trailblazing pioneer sisters of their day.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 20, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    RE: Michigander Mary M. Whitmer. In August, 1842, the Millennial Star, printed in England, published Joseph Smith’s story stating that the angel’s name was “Nephi” (see Millennial Star, Vol. 3, p. 53). On page 71 of the same volume we read that the “…message of the angel Nephi[not Moroni]…opened a new dispensation to man…”.

    J. C. Whitmer,“I have heard my grandmother (Mary M. Whitmer) say on several occasions that she was shown the plates of the Book of Mormon by an holy angel, whom she always called Brother Nephi[not Moroni].” (John C. Whitmer, “The Eight Witnesses”, The Historical Record, Volume 7, October, 1888, p. 621)

    RE: Craig Clark ,(Inspired Version) the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS). V. 17,..the Three witnesses. V. 18 , speak as it were from the dead. V. 19, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of this book; and the mouth of as Many witnesses as seemeth good… (Is 29:14 JST)

    JS creates Many witnesses. Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls,LXX or KJV.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    July 22, 2013 4:11 a.m.

    sharrona

    ("RE: EternalPerspective. Johnathan Edwards(Great awakening) was a Christian preacher and is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals.

    Edward’s signs of Christian of regeneration(Born again/from above): 1. One’s esteem of Christ’s is elevated to an Orthodox Christology. 2. The awakening of the conscience of sin, or a conviction of Sin 3. A greater regard for the Bible, which establishes the more of the certainty of the Spirit of God.")

    Why does creedal, reformation, and new age Christianity so constrain the power, miracles, and blessings of God as to make them an exclusive pattern of ancient days by denying that such occur in these days?

    Why do people endlessly quote the Bible that proclaims Christ's Church as a living entity with revelation that comes through the Priesthood authority, yet deny God works in the same patterns today?

    How is God changeable? Why do so many people only believe in the works of dead prophets, but refuse to believe God could raise up a living prophet in these days? How did man-made interpretations become the same as God's truths?

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    July 22, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    James J. Strang had the plates of the ancient Book of the Law of the Lord given to Moses, which he claimed to translate.

    He had 7 witnesses examine and handle those plates with signed signatures just like the Book of Mormon.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 22, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    I found the story about Mary Whitmer to interesting, informative and uplifting. I would not want to pick it apart and then feel bad for being spiritually skewed.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    @Lbone
    "Today there are still some who believe the earth is flat "

    That sounds like you're arguing that faith is less valuable than observable evidence. Your example makes the opposite case you were going for.

    @Silverprospector
    "Please cite sources for people who still think the world is flat."

    I don't see a need, there's always some people who will believe some absurd thing. I once had to sit through a guy on a crowded bus next to me showing videos that he claimed was proof of Bigfoot.

    @EternalPespective
    "Why do so many people only believe in the works of dead prophets, but refuse to believe God could raise up a living prophet in these days?"

    Technically, according to your belief, this is an accurate depiction of how things were in the 1700s without any sort of prophet around.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 23, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    sharrona,

    “....RE: Craig Clark ,(Inspired Version) the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS). V. 17,..the Three witnesses. V. 18 , speak as it were from the dead. V. 19, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of this book; and the mouth of as Many witnesses as seemeth good; (Is 29:14 JST)….”
    ______________________________

    Is it any wonder that a man who could publish a book in 1830 insisting it’s an ancient record he translated from a language for which modern scholarship has no knowledge could then offer as a follow up act a bold attempt to revise the King James Bible to make it read the way it’s supposed to read? Who would presume to do something so audacious?

    Joseph Smith had a lot of pluck. I’ll not hesitate to give him credit for that.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    July 23, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    Reading all the naysayers' / doubters' comments on here brings the following piece of wisdom to mind:

    "To those who know spiritual truth, no physical proof is needed.
    To those who don't know spiritual truth, no amount of physical proof will ever fully suffice."

    I literally thank God that I do, in fact, know.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 23, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    @ Rollo Tomasi - Rockingham, NC - "Someone above already mentioned this, but I note how the author was careful NOT to give the name of the mysterious man/angel who showed the plates to Mary Whitmer. I suspect this is because Mary always maintained that this angel was named "Nephi," which doesn't fit into the current LDS narrative (i.e., that the angel was "Moroni")."

    Rollo -

    Please quit trying to make something out of nothing.

    The fact that Mary Whitmer never named who the messenger/angel was means nothing. Whether the messenger was named "Nephi" or "Moroni" makes absolutely no difference at all. None.

    Did an angel named Moroni show Joseph Smith the gold plates? Yes. But nowhere in LDS theology or our history does any credible document claim that "only" the angel "Moroni" was solely capable of, or allowed, to show the plates to those that God chose to see them. God is at the head of this universe and He directs His own work. To Him, the name of His messenger doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that they are indeed worthy of being HIS messenger.

    Cheers.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    July 24, 2013 2:52 a.m.

    Truth is quite simply the most pure when given from the source and not as a byproduct of someone else's interpretation of truth.

    When someone is ready to call upon God with sincerity of heart and purity of intent to do His will over their own or what the world says, and acts upon that desire, God will lead them to truth. This has always been the pattern.

    No amount of signs or physical proof including the Golden Plates of Nephi will convince anyone of spiritual truths. This is by purposeful design as signs follow the faithful only after they have exercised faith unto the end they may see that which is not revealed by sight alone.

    If you want to know whether Mormonism is true, ask of God and seek diligently to learn by His will and not all the naysayers who denounce those works as fabrication from longstanding rumors and lies.

    We read in the Bible about the false accusations and trial of Jesus that led to His crucifixion, when God's truths and authority are upon the earth, people's faith is easily swayed away by the world and their own doubt. So it is today...